River Island are not in my good books at the moment.

Grey Rihanna knot front cropped cami top_RiverIslandIt all started when they decided to put great big ‘RI’ logos all over their handbags – um, with all due respect, your accessories don’t quite have the iconic, designer connotations of LV. However, River Island’s new Rihanna range has pushed me over the edge.

Let me explain. When somebody says ‘Rihanna’, I think sex appeal. I think outrageous, risqué outfits. I do not think plain grey cami top, which by the way will set you back a hefty £18.00, thank you very much. Perhaps the ready-tied knot at the front justifies paying extortionate amounts for a top that you could buy for a fiver (or probably less) in Primark? Or perhaps there are some die-hard RiRi fans out there willing to support the cause, or whatever, at the expense of their bank balance? I don’t know, but all I can say is that – in my eyes – it is a complete waste of money, especially when nobody can actually tell that you’re wearing Rihanna for River Island unless they stare intently at the miniscule jagged ‘R’ positioned close to the neckline at the back of the cami.

…which might make this piece of tomfoolery worth the price-tag…

Navy Rihanna tied denim shirt zip front skirt_RiverIslandOther stupid pieces from the collection include the Navy Rihanna Tied Denim Shirt Zip Front Skirt, which consists of – surprise surprise – a zip front skirt with a denim shirt tied round the waist and sewed into position. The latter detail means that you can’t even claim you spent £50.00 on two separate items, which might make this piece of tomfoolery worth the price-tag. No, you will genuinely be paying £50.00 for the privilege of having said denim shirt permanently fastened to said zip front skirt. Clearly, owning both items separately and occasionally combining the two is not on Rihanna’s agenda; which is fine, because I’m sure she can afford all the sewn-together outfits that this wide world has to offer. Unfortunately, if you’re a young girl/woman who shops on the High Street, chances are you probably can’t. Sort it out, RiRi!

The rant continues, I’m afraid, as I turn to the black and white striped shirt, and various other stripy, monochrome items in the collection. Admittedly, this is very Rihanna circa 2012, but there are two problems with this:

(1) We’re in 2013, and

(2) H&M have been doing similar items, for a fraction of the price, for at least a year now.

…I still struggle with the lack of originality…

Black and white Rihanna painted stripe shirt_RiverIslandI understand that the mullet train at the back makes this shirt a tad more edgy than its predecessors, however I still struggle with the lack of originality. There’s nothing of the Americana present in RiRi’s ‘We Found Love’ music video outfit; nor is there an Island vibe harking back to her Bajan roots. Indeed, the generic, fresh-off-the-shelf finish of these pieces even denies them the grungy vibe that Rihanna has been channelling of late.

To sum it up, these plain pieces are well-made and undoubtedly attractive, but ultimately boring and un-original. A cross-over back and thigh split on a black maxi dress does not disguise the fact that is it a black maxi dress. It’s all been done before on the High Street, and all too often at a fraction of the price.

About The Author

Currently studying English at UCL; interested in literary, music and fashion journalism.

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